Mayor’s Message

If you missed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s 2017 State of the City address, you can watch the full video here or read the text below:

2017 STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
Council President Wesson, Esteemed Members of the City Council …
Fellow elected officials … members of the clergy … local leaders … members of the consular
corps … my family, especially my wife and our city’s First Lady, Amy Elaine Wakeland, who is
watching this at home in bed — feel better honey and thank you for all that you do.
She couldn’t be with us this morning, but I know she’s watching.
It is good to be back in these Chambers.
To everyone gathered here, and to the four million people who call Los Angeles home: It is my
honor to be before you again today.
To my wife, and your First Lady, Amy Elaine Wakeland — Thank you Amy for your love, and for
doing so much to make this city a better, more equitable place, for everyone.
She couldn’t be with us this morning, but I know she’s watching.
Each year, this is a moment of reflection and commitment — to see how far we have come and
to chart our way forward at City Hall, and everywhere in this city we call home.
Four years ago, we first came together at Exposition Park to discuss the state of our city …
There, I laid out a vision for my first term: It was time to get back to basics …
Time for City Hall to focus on the things that really matter to you as Angelenos:
To make sure your hard work is met with opportunity … to make your block feel safe … to make
sure that City Hall does its job every day to make our city great.
Since that first gathering, we have come together every year — in Northridge, near our harbor,
and now in our Council Chambers — each time to share our progress, to discuss our
challenges, and to hold ourselves accountable.
For four years we have worked to improve our city today, without losing sight of what we must
do to define the Los Angeles of tomorrow.
Together, we have delivered more than I ever could have imagined:
We raised our minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour … we cut our business tax … slashed our
unemployment rate in half …
We paved more roads than any time in our history … started fixing sidewalks again … and
picked up more trash than ever before.
We opened the Broad Museum downtown … landed the Lucas Museum in South L.A., the
single largest civic gift in history.
Not just one, but two NFL teams came home … We topped off the tallest building west of the
Mississippi …
And we are in the finals to bring the Olympics back home to America …
These things didn’t happen by accident … they happened because we went after them:
We built coalitions on the minimum wage … pushed past skeptics on the business tax … cut red
tape to speed up construction … won billions of dollars in state and federal money for our film
industry, our river, our education initiatives, and our transportation projects.
We proved that City Hall could focus on the basics, and get the job done.
But our work will not be measured by what we do for ourselves today … it will be remembered
for what we leave behind for our children and grandchildren.
That’s why, after three years of success, we reached for once-in-a-generation change — we
went to the ballot, and asked the people:
Are you ready to plan the next 50 years? Are you ready to invest your own resources to meet
our most pressing challenges?
You said yes: you voted yes for your future …
You voted yes for a city without encampments … Yes for a city that fixes its streets and expands
its subways …
Yes for more affordable housing …
Yes for more parks … and yes for better community colleges.
And just as importantly, you said “no” to a devastating building moratorium that would have
shifted our economy into reverse.
Today, Los Angeles, we are thinking big.
And our recent elections are a testament to the trust we have built between the people and City
Hall.
You told us what you wanted, and together, we delivered.
But these votes weren’t just about what we want, they were about who we are.
They’re not just about what we aspire to, but what we believe in: That this city needs to work for
everybody, in every community.
So what is the state of our city today? There’s no denying it: the state of our city is strong.
Record jobs, record investment, record visitors, record trade, record IPOs, returning industries,
nation-leading infrastructure programs, and world-leading innovations — all of these things
together are ushering in a transformational decade for our city.
But the state of our city isn’t just about our economic success.
Our strength comes from the values we hold and the progress we embody.
And at a moment like this, the work we’re doing here in Los Angeles is especially urgent.
At a moment when the national conversation is anxious and divided … when our infrastructure is
crumbling and the future feels uncertain … when Washington seems broken …
This is a moment that calls for Los Angeles to lead … to be a model of moral leadership and
bold action.
When others try to pull us apart, we pull together. While others are obsessed with the most
powerful person in our country, we are empowering the most vulnerable in our own backyard.
While paralysis and division embody politics in too many places, we do the hard work of building
coalitions … planning for the future … and getting the job done.
L.A. today is a vision of what America is reaching for tomorrow … what we’ve always yearned
for — an inclusive society with an effective government.
There’s nowhere I’d rather be. And there’s no place I love more.
……..
This is our home … our paradise, but we also acknowledge it’s an imperfect paradise.
We all share the same heartbreaks … the same frustrations and pain:
When you can’t make it home in time to have dinner with your family, because the freeway was
too jammed.
When we see our neighbors sleeping in tents under freeway overpasses.
Or when our children are scared to go to school, because they wonder if their parents will be
deported while they’re in math class.
Too many people feel paralyzed by the challenges before them.
I refuse to be paralyzed.
In fact, I wake up every day more hopeful and determined than the day before.
Why? Because this is a place where people not only believe in a better future — they’re creating
one.
Today, I am asking you to tap into that optimism:
This year, our job is not simply to reflect the people’s will … we’re here to accelerate it.
In the last year, we campaigned for historic investments … and we won. Now, armed with the
people of Los Angeles behind us, and new resources to propel us, it’s time to deliver historic
change.
We’re starting on the streets.
I remember a time when homelessness was mostly concentrated in Skid Row.
Today, there are people without shelter in just about every neighborhood.
As Mayor, there’s no issue I spend more time on — because I believe that homelessness is the
moral issue of our time.
I am outraged when there are Angelenos who can’t escape the cold rain …
Horrified when someone who has worn our country’s uniform is begging for change on the
corner.
I recently talked with a friend who told me her children have grown up seeing the tents in our
communities — they think it’s just a normal part of Los Angeles.
And I worry that my 5-year-old daughter won’t know any different either.
We can’t accept that. We won’t.
We have made significant progress:
Since 2014, we’ve helped 24,000 men, women, and children find safe homes — more than
9,000 in the last year alone.
Those are real people … real stories … real results.
But the problem persists. That’s why we wrote Measure HHH.
And thanks to the voters who passed it, we’re going to more than triple our production of
permanent supportive housing in the next two years.
But we can’t just build floors and walls. We have to rebuild lives.
That’s why we fought hard to pass Measure H … so we could generate $355 million dollars a
year to expand mental health, substance abuse, and employment services across the County —
getting people off the streets, on track, and into homes of their very own.
And this morning, I’m proud to announce that the budget I am presenting to City Council
dedicates more than $176 million dollars to house the unsheltered, connect them with services,
and keep our communities safe and clean.
We are not here to address homelessness … or manage homelessness … or reduce
homelessness … we are here to end homelessness once and for all.
But our housing crisis isn’t limited to the people living on our streets.
Anyone who writes a check at the beginning of the month knows that the rent in this city is just
too high.
Too many people are getting priced out. Even kicked out.
More than 430,000 low-income families in Los Angeles are worried about keeping a roof over
their heads … they either spend more than half their income on rent … or live in severely
overcrowded, second-rate housing.
Families like the Islam family know that struggle.
Imli Islam works full-time as a teacher in Koreatown, preparing the next generation of Angelenos
for success. Her husband, Nazrul, also works for LAUSD, at an elementary school cafeteria in
Silver Lake.
They were raising their three children in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in the center of the
city. Every morning, the entire family competed for time in their home’s only bathroom.
For three years, Imli and Nazrul scoured the city for a better option, but came up empty-handed.
Until they found Selma Community Housing — a project that the City helped fund in partnership
with LAUSD, which I was proud to work on as a councilmember.
I was there when Selma opened up 66 affordable housing units in the heart of Hollywood last
year. And the Islams are some of its newest tenants.
Today, they can afford their rent. Their sons have their own rooms. The family is enjoying the
resurgent Hollywood that surrounds them — instead of being priced out of it.
But these stories are rare. Too many still have to choose between making rent and making
dinner.
In the face of devastating federal and state cuts to affordable housing, it’s our responsibility to
step up and help create more of these success stories.
Now, this is Los Angeles. So, you better believe we’re getting creative about how we build and
preserve affordable housing.
We’re letting more homeowners build in their own backyards, to open up more affordable living
spaces …
We passed a historic policy that will ensure 35% of all housing on Metro-owned land will be
affordable …
We fought for, and won, our fair share of state cap-and-trade dollars to build hundreds of new
units …
We’re making it easier to build, by cutting red tape to put affordable housing projects at the front
of the line …
And last year, I strengthened our Rent Stabilization Ordinance, to protect Angelenos from illegal
rent increases and evictions.
I’m proud that we’re more than halfway to my goal of building 100,000 new housing units … But
it’s still not enough.
I want a future where no one is crushed by the cost of rent:
That’s why I am calling on the City Council to pass the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee — and
do it now.
Councilmembers have joined with me, because they know what this will mean for our city.
The linkage fee I have proposed will raise $100 million dollars a year, and leverage up to $300
million additional dollars every year for affordable housing.
Combined with HHH, it will allow us to more than double affordable housing production in Los
Angeles.
I know that we can work together, and drive down the price of housing in every district, and in
every neighborhood. And when we do:
We will preserve the quality of life in our communities … we will reduce our traffic, because
people will be closer to their jobs and their families … we will help the people who revitalize our
neighborhoods stay in those neighborhoods …
This isn’t just the right thing to do for our people, it’s the right thing to do for our economy.
Businesses and unions understand that jobs need a place to sleep at night.
People are moving here — that’s the good news. We have more jobs than at any time in our
history. And we’ve helped 186,000 new businesses open over the last four years.
But if we don’t have affordable housing in Los Angeles, companies will find more affordable
cities to bring those jobs to.
Our city’s future demands that we do this — and we’re seeing the reasons why unfold right
before our eyes.
………
We need to build more housing, but as a city, we also need a blueprint that reflects our future.
We can’t be passive when it comes to our aspirations — simply waiting for projects to be
proposed, or deciding what to build on a case-by-case basis …
We need Angelenos to share their vision for their own neighborhoods … and help imagine the
Los Angeles of tomorrow.
That is why it’s so important to me that we reform how development gets done.
I am going make sure that we update every single one of our 35 community plans in just six
years … and by the end of next year, we’ll have 10 finished plans in the books.
We will accelerate our General Plan update — the master document that shapes traffic, green
space, housing, and so much more for the entire city.
These updates won’t be written by anonymous bureaucrats in back rooms … they will be written
by and with the residents of Los Angeles, in hundreds of public meetings and workshops — so
that the plans reflect the wishes of the people who live there.
And as we open up that process to the people, we have to ensure that no doors are closed off
to them, either.
That is why I banned all private communication between developers and our city planning
commissioners on projects they review.
We must restore trust and transparency to a process that’s too often sees as “insiders only.”
————
If we’re going to get ahead, we have to get moving.
That’s what Measure M is all about: the largest transportation initiative in the history of the
United States — times two.
I criss-crossed L.A. County campaigning for it. You supported it. Now it’s time for us to deliver.
I want people to feel the impact of Measure M right away:
I want you to see rail and bus service open sooner — a North/South line across the Valley … a
train that will go through the Sepulveda Pass … improvements to the Orange Line … A Purple
Line all the way to Westwood and beyond … rail that finally links to LAX … and upgraded
transit up and down the Vermont Corridor…
But I also want you to see more streets being fixed: so my budget invests $35 million new
dollars to fix our worst streets … this means a smoother ride and fewer broken axles.
And we are going to prioritize the most dangerous streets first, so we can save lives — this year,
my budget will increase funding for Vision Zero from $3 million dollars to nearly $17 million
dollars, including the launch of a public awareness campaign to get distracted drivers focused
on the road.
Fixing our roads and reducing traffic fatalities are not competing priorities. They must be one
and the same.
You deserve a safer, faster commute — and I’m going to help deliver it.
Whether that’s an Expo Line extension where we doubled peak hour trains …
Or our Blue Line, where we’re investing more than a billion dollars to make that experience feel
brand-new, even though that line opened up over 25 years ago …
Our new public safety contract with Metro puts 150 of our very own LAPD officers on our trains,
buses, and at Metro stations — keeping riders safer, and expanding officer patrols across the
city, day and night.
And we’re not going to stop.
Because good public transportation isn’t about infrastructure: it’s about people.
Is it easy to transfer? Are you comfortable during your commute? Can you get online? Do you
make it to work on time?
That’s why, on July 1st, when I return as Chair of the Metro Board, I’m going to start a
committee to improve the rider experience. And Councilmember Bonin will head it up.
So, if your bus is late, please call Mike.
Going Metro shouldn’t be a burden, it should be a convenience.
These are big plans, Los Angeles. And they reflect our very best ideals and our highest
aspirations.
But in Los Angeles, we don’t just plan for the best — we prepare for the worst.
Two years ago, we passed the most sweeping seismic retrofit legislation in all of America.
Because imagine all this work … all that we have built and love … gone in an instant.
Not on my watch. Our retrofits are well under way — and when the big one hits, they will save
the lives and homes of a half-million people.
This year, we are going to build on that work.
By the end of 2018, we will deploy an earthquake early-warning system to every corner of this
city — in schools, at businesses, even on your smartphone.
It will give you a head start when an earthquake is coming — precious seconds that save lives.
This same technology will stop trains in their tracks … bring elevators to a halt … and even
trigger backup generators, so you don’t get stuck in the dark.
Earthquakes come quickly, but sometimes natural disasters don’t happen in an instant … they
come after decades of inaction. That’s why, in Los Angeles, we’re leading the fight against
climate change.
We are not deterred by what we’re hearing out of Washington:
Let me be crystal-clear: If the White House pulls out of the Paris Climate Agreement, we’re
going to adopt it right here in L.A.
If the federal government skips out on their commitment, we’ll be ready. I founded Climate
Mayors, a coalition of 85 cities who will join us in taking on climate change locally.
This new EPA may want to return to the days of coal and smog — but here in L.A., we’re going
to make DWP coal-free by 2025 …
Washington may not care about polluting rivers and streams, but we’re going to continue
cleaning our waterways and restoring our beautiful Los Angeles River to its natural habitat …
In fact, we just bought the G2 Parcel, 42 acres of new green space in our city — which will help
open up a river that over a quarter of L.A.’s residents can walk to …
And next week, we will re-open the Los Angeles State Historic Park, along the land that first
brought water to a thirsty pueblo more than two centuries ago.
D.C. may not think that environmental justice matters, but for us it’s a fundamental value. It’s
something we fight for.
We fought for the people of Boyle Heights, poisoned by a battery factory … We fought for the
people of Porter Ranch, choked by a gas leak …
And for the first time since the 1980s, I hired a petroleum administrator — who will ensure that
people living next to oil wells across the city … from University Park to Echo Park … West
Adams to Wilmington … will finally get some justice, too.
………….
From cleaning up our communities, to planning for the future, we’re not just focused on L.A.’s
physical development:
We’re focused on human development.
We’re building an economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind …
And we are supporting education that sets our young people up for good jobs … helps them
think critically … and prepares them to change the world.
We aren’t going to be distracted by debates between adults, because we’re focusing on our
kids.
A young girl doesn’t drop out of school because of tenure rules or what union her teachers are a
part of.
She drops out because of the violence on her street, or in her home … because of the poverty
in her neighborhood … or because no one exposed her to engineering to spark her imagination
… encouraged her to throw on a soccer jersey … or pick up a paintbrush … because no one
showed up at her door when she was just a few credits short of graduating because she had to
work to support her family.
And when that toxic brew boils over, and that young girl gives up on school?
She did not fail us. We failed her.
If we want our students to succeed, we need to look at the whole picture — we need to bring all
of our resources and ideas to bear …
That’s how we’ll help students get those diplomas, and move families into the middle class.
A good education begins with ending poverty … That’s why we fought to be the first city in the
nation with two Promise Zones.
Together they’re nearly the population of New Orleans — so when we make a difference there,
it’s on a massive scale.
In Central L.A. and South L.A. they represent the promise of, and a promise to, our residents —
The City of L.A. will be there to help you succeed.
Since 2013 these Promise Zones, and our Promise Neighborhoods — including the one in
Pacoima — have secured $290 million dollars in federal money to combat poverty and improve
education.
We see the impact of those dollars in the life of Ilene Garcia, and her 1-year-old son, Nickolas.
Ilene is a senior at the STEM Academy of Hollywood, in one of our Promise Zones.
When Ilene gave birth to Nickolas the summer before junior year, she was afraid she would
have to drop out … There was so much responsibility at home:
She had a newborn baby … Her mother was undocumented, and didn’t speak English … Her
father had walked out on the family long ago … And her younger sisters needed Ilene to be that
second parent they didn’t have …
But Ilene was also a regular at her high school’s College Center, which exists thanks to the
Promise Zone. When she told our staff there that she wanted to get a degree, they helped her
make it happen.
The Promise Zone got her a summer job, which helped her mom pay the rent … Our College
Center counselors helped her work on college essays, and get her applications in on time …
Ilene — she put it best: “I refuse to be a statistic.”
And guess what: Not only did Ilene stay in school … Not only is she graduating …
This fall, Ilene Garcia will be an incoming freshman at UCLA. Congratulations, Ilene. We are so
proud of you.
While Ilene is exceptional, she isn’t alone:
At STEM Academy of Hollywood we have raised graduation rates from 70% to 93% in just two
years.
Across our Promise Neighborhood High Schools — 86% of students are now graduating. That’s
in communities where 90% of students are on free or reduced lunch.
That’s an all-time high.
Don’t tell me your zip code determines your future — in L.A., we are proving every day that it
doesn’t have to.
And our vision isn’t just for Ilene, it’s for her son Nickolas, too:
When he starts school, Nickolas will automatically get a library card — just like every child in
LAUSD. Thanks to my Student Success Program, all students will have access to what lies
behind our library doors — from homework help to STEM education.
We are also going to make sure that Nickolas has access to after school options, and summer
learning.
We know that students involved in summer programs are 20% less likely to drop out, because
they don’t spend July forgetting what they learned in March.
Last year, the L.A.’s Best summer program served nearly 6,000 young Angelenos … This year,
we’re going to grow that number by a thousand.
That’s 1,000 more students who will receive the benefits of L.A.’s Best all summer long —
improving their reading skills, exposing them to new ideas, and opening their eyes to the world
around them.
I’ve been an L.A.’s Best parent — and I know these programs work.
When Nickolas gets a little bit older, we’re going to be there again — this time to get him a
summer job.
Since I became Mayor, I am proud that we have more than tripled the size of Hire L.A.’s Youth
from 5,000 to 15,000 strong.
By 2020 I am going to grow this program to 20,000 jobs — so that we can say to every young
person in need:
If you want a job, you’ve got a job.
And when Nickolas graduates from high school: we’ll be there to help him go after that college
degree.
One year ago, I vowed to make Los Angeles the largest city in America to offer one year of free
community college to every LAUSD graduate.
Some doubted we could do it. But this fall, we will deliver on L.A.’s College Promise.
And when that first class starts its freshman year, instead of a lifetime of debt, they’ll be ready
for a lifetime of success.
And part of that lifetime of success is a good, middle-class job after you graduate — a career as
a police officer, an engineer, or a gaffer.
We aren’t just chasing jobs that pay $15 dollars an hour, we’re going after jobs that pay $50
dollars an hour and more — and they do it for a lifetime.
That is why we’re going to create a lasting pipeline to the middle class through Measure M, with
a program called Workforce Investment Now — WIN L.A. will help generations of engineers and
construction workers raise their families on jobs that reduce traffic and shape L.A.’s future.
I’m talking about more than creating jobs … I’m talking about nurturing careers.
And that’s what we’re doing with Pledge to Patrol, a new initiative that will hire young Angelenos
to work for the LAPD while they get their college degree.
Thousands of young people in this city join Cadet and other programs, that help prepare them
for a life of service in law enforcement. And when young people show an interest in joining our
force, we don’t want to lose them to other careers.
Pledge to Patrol builds a bridge from the classroom to the roll call room, because we want to
see more LAPD officers who grew up in the communities they serve.
Good jobs also come from our legacy industries.
That’s why I led the campaign to pass our state’s film tax credit, which has already brought
home more than 50,000 good-paying, middle class jobs and $2 billion dollars in spending.
It’s no surprise that people want production to happen here: we have the best talent, the best
weather, and the best infrastructure in the world.
That’s one of the reasons Netflix just announced that they’re bringing $6 billion dollars in
production to Los Angeles. They’re going to invest in our creativity, and our workforce — filming
America’s strongest export right here.
Hollywood is coming home, but the business is also changing.
Today it’s easier than ever for filmmakers to produce and distribute content — they work with
smaller crews, less equipment, and are able to produce more in one day than your traditional
television and film shoots.
But too many permits and too much bureaucracy threaten to chase that success to other places.
I’m not about to let runaway production go digital.
This morning, I’m proud to announce Los Angeles will be the first city in the nation to pilot a
program that cuts permitting costs by two-thirds for small and web-based filmmakers.
But a future L.A. economy cannot be strong unless it is strong for everybody.
Three years ago, when I stood up the city’s first Office of Veteran’s Affairs since World War II, I
told L.A.’s veterans that if you served our country, it was our turn to serve you — by connecting
you to housing and good jobs.
So we launched the 10,000 Strong Veteran Jobs program. By the end of this year, we are going
to exceed that number.
And last year, we became the largest city in America to ban the box — so that a single
checkmark on a job application will no longer stop people from becoming contributing members
of our society.
We are all better off when Angelenos who have paid their debt to society are met with
opportunity … Angelenos like Patricia Allen.
Years ago, desperate for money to support her child, she committed a crime and served her
time.
A criminal record made finding work even harder. But Patricia didn’t give up trying … and this
city didn’t give up on her.
And today she’s a union construction worker, building the Crenshaw/LAX rail line … just blocks
from where she lives in South L.A.
And when her 15-year-old son Jaylen drops by the work site, he sees his mom motivated and
working hard to build a better life for their family.
This year, Los Angeles is on track to link 1,000 formerly incarcerated Angelenos like Patricia to
jobs.
Because 70% of people who walk out of jail are unemployed. More than half of them are
re-incarcerated. But if they land a job? Those odds plummet to below 10%.
We are safer, and our economy is stronger, when we stop the revolving door that sends people
from the streets to prison cells — and back again.
……..
My friends, this is our shared work — of making sure that Los Angeles is a more prosperous,
safer, and cleaner city.
Since the recession, we have restored core services that were gutted … put more cops on the
streets to combat crime … and made City Hall more responsive and transparent.
In the last four years, we’ve made unprecedented progress.
The budget I am presenting to City Council today is not only balanced … it preserves our critical
investments — and pushes us further:
For the third year running, we’ll repair and repave a record number of streets.
We’re going to spend $31 million dollars to fix cracked sidewalks … more than ever before.
And we’re going to get graffiti off our walls.
During my time on the Council, my “UNTAG” program cut graffiti in my district by 80% … The
main reason for that success? We got that paint off the walls fast.
That’s why I’m funding a program to clear 90% of graffiti requests in a day.
And we aren’t just cleaning up graffiti, we’re cleaning up streets, as well.
Since 2013, we’ve added 2,500 new trash cans across Los Angeles, and this year we’re going
to add another 1,250 more.
This budget also includes new teams to clean every one of our dirtiest streets.
Thanks to our nationally-recognized Clean Streets program, we now know the cleanliness of all
7,300 miles of L.A.’s public streets and alleys — that means we can target our resources to the
right blocks. And each resident can hold us accountable.
This budget funds another important priority: More humane animal shelters.
Because Los Angeles is a city that cares. I see this when I go to our animal shelters … where a
family is adopting a kitten … or a little boy is meeting his new best friend …
Today, I am proud to announce that, in 2017, Los Angeles will become the largest ”no kill” city in
the nation.
Quality of life also depends on the safety of our neighborhoods.
Thanks to the incredible work of our police officers, and public safety professionals — I am
proud to say that crime has leveled off since last summer … and all violent crime is again going
in the right direction — down.
It’s down 4% this year. And homicides are down 8% … But we have to keep pushing.
And that starts with getting more guns off the streets, and more cops on them.
This past weekend, a 3-year-old girl was the victim of a shooting — a 3-year old girl!
A bullet hit her in the neck, and passed through her without hitting an artery. That is a miracle.
But we can’t rely on miracles when our children’s lives are at stake.
I held my own daughter a little longer, a little more tightly, when I woke her up the next morning.
I’m sure a lot of parents in this city did. Because no matter how hard we try to protect our
children, this kind of irrational violence is still happening. And we cannot tolerate it. I will not
tolerate it.
We need guns off our streets. And we need them gone now.
That is why I have set a new goal — to rid our communities of 20,000 guns in the next five
years.
This year, we’ll expand our successful gun buyback program and create a Crime Gun
Intelligence Center to coordinate local and federal resources in communities hardest hit by
violence.
And we need more officers out on the beat. My budget last year brought more than 300
civilians into the LAPD — so that we could get more officers out from behind desks, and into our
communities.
Keeping our neighborhoods safe also means investing in programs that work.
That’s why I expanded our Gang Reduction & Youth Development work to more neighborhoods,
and added prevention and intervention services to every one of the 23 GRYD zones across our
city.
A new study shows that our strategy works: GRYD workers prevented 185 gang-related violent
crimes — including homicides — in two years.
Because of their commitment and dedication, there are men and women graduating from high
school and college … tucking a child into bed … volunteering in their communities — Angelenos
who otherwise wouldn’t be with us today.
That’s another reason that we’re growing our Community Safety Partnership, a national model
that keeps police officers in the same place for five years.
Because it makes a difference when young people in the neighborhood know cops by their first
names … and those same cops become coaches … and get involved with local churches and
community organizations.
Because when we build trust between our police department and our people, everyone feels
safer — especially immigrant Angelenos who might be feeling anxious right now.
That’s why I want you all to hear, once again, loud and clear:
The LAPD will never act as a federal immigration force.
Neither will our airport and port police. Or our firefighters.
Keeping our city safe means not making victims or witnesses afraid to report a crime.
Ustedes pueden confiar en los oficiales de la policía de Los Ángeles. Ellos están aquí para
servirle — no tengan miedo de denunciar un crimen — los oficiales del LAPD no los entregarán
a las autoridades federales de inmigración.
We want people in this city to earn legal wages, pay taxes, and start businesses … not be
pushed into the shadows.
That’s why, in Los Angeles, every city facility, service, and program is available to every resident
— regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
That’s why I helped launch the $10 million dollar L.A. Justice Fund …
Because no dreamer or family that dares to dream should face that kind of threat without
someone in their corner.
Not in Los Angeles. Not as long as I am here.
And I know Angelenos agree with me:
I saw that spirit in the people who rushed to LAX to fight for immigrants and refugees earlier this
year …
People like Talia Inlender, an immigration attorney who spent the entire weekend volunteering
at LAX.
The days out there were long and hard, but thousands of people turned out at the airport … to
bring food and water to the volunteers, and to march through the terminal holding signs that
read, “Let Them In.”
For Talia — whose own grandparents fled Poland, and whose father was born in a refugee
camp in Austria — it was a heartbreaking, but inspiring, weekend.
She talked to so many worried families … worked to get a young woman with a student visa off
a plane stuck on the runway … and saw the power in Angelenos unified around a common
cause.
Talia said she never felt so ashamed of Washington — or so proud of Los Angeles.
………
Talia … And Patricia … And Ilene … And the Islam family … They’re the face of Los Angeles.
Sure, we have movie stars and aerospace engineers … but most Angelenos are teachers and
factory workers … firefighters and nurses … everyday people helping our families and our
communities get better each day.
I reject the idea that here in Los Angeles we live in some isolated world on the coast — because
I know our families struggle with the same things people grapple with throughout the country.
But caring for one another — and then doing something about it — that’s the heart and soul of
Los Angeles. That’s what sets us apart.
Because in this city, we don’t fight with each other. We fight for each other.
And that spirit doesn’t come from City Hall, it comes from all of you.
A spirit that for generations has led Angelenos to shatter barriers that no one even knew
existed…
A spirit that led us to look beyond the sky, and up to the heavens — because we saw a new
frontier …
A spirit that harnessed nature itself to build this land …
A spirit of generosity, and compassion proven by small acts of kindness every day…
A spirit reflected in people like Angel Espinoza, an outreach worker with the Los Angeles
Homeless Services Authority.
Angel was once homeless himself. After years on the streets, Angel decided to get treatment for
his drug addiction, and ended up at the New Image Shelter — where he was connected to
housing.
Today, he’s a single father, raising two sons, Elijah and Joshua. When people ask his boys what
their father does, they answer simply: “He saves lives.”
Too often, homeless Angelenos tell me that they feel invisible … that people look past them. But
not Angel. Angel sees everybody.
I’ve done outreach with him a few times now — along our rivers and overpasses, where we
meet our fellow Angelenos.
His approach is always the same:
He crouches down to the ground to look folks right in the eye, and asks them softly what they
need … how we can help.
They don’t always accept his help right away. He knows, and I’ve learned — doing good takes
time. Persistence. Trust.
It takes love.
He is an Angel in the City of Angels. A reminder of the work that we should all be proud to be a
part of every day.
For four years, I have been honored to be your Mayor.
For four years, I have been honored to help lead our collective spirit in this city … to help lead
our common aspirations, four million strong.
Most of all, I have been honored to serve all of you.
Because the State of Our City is only as strong as the person who needs us most.
And each morning, every day that I serve as your Mayor, I wake up with this in mind:
That we are here to lift up those who feel most vulnerable … That we are here to make life a
little bit easier for those raising families … That we are here, in this place where our mountains
meet our sea, to do the good that people like Angel teach us every day:
To lead with love and patience … persistence and trust. And to do it together.
So that when we gather next spring …
We can report that the state of our city is even stronger. And it is stronger for everyone.
God bless you … God bless the City of Los Angeles.
Thank you all so very much!
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By | 2017-04-21T15:40:34+00:00 April 21st, 2017|Blog, City Hall|Comments Off on Mayor’s Message